BBBS Reads/ReadingPals

Apply for the 2024-2025 school year

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BBBS Reads members work with VPK-third grade students on their literacy skills in a school-based one-to-one mentoring program. They meet with students three times a week for 30 minutes at assigned school sites.

In addition to literacy skills, VPK students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to participate in family literacy nights and Saturday community learning events at sites such as the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Riverside Children’s Theater, and the Environmental Learning Center.

The service year runs from August through July. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All members receive a modest living allowance and some members are eligible for an education award.

Are you ready to apply to become a Reads member?
  1. Complete the online application here or via the links below by county for the 2024-2025 school year.
  2. A BBBS team member will contact you to discuss the next steps. Contact BBBS Reads at with questions.


BBBS Reads is supported and funded by several entities, including The Children’s Movement of Florida‘s ReadingPals program, AmeriCorps, Volunteer Florida (AmeriCorps’ branch in Florida) and the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County.

ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from pre-k to third grade who may need extra help. ReadingPals volunteers (also known as BBBS Reads members) have been paired with thousands of young children in Florida. They build meaningful relationships and help improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills.

According to The Children’s Movement of Florida, only 37% of students that did not attend VPK are ready for Kindergarten, compared to 62% of students that completed 70% or more of VPK program hours:

  • As of 2022, 51% of children in Florida are not ready for Kindergarten.
  • According to the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) in 2023, 50% of Florida students cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade (47% in 2022).
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The Big Brothers Big Sisters Match

According to a nationwide study, our one-to-one matches are the driving force behind making an impact on children. A Big Brothers Big Sisters’ match is carefully administered and held to the strictest standards. Agency staff strives for matches that are not only safe and well suited to each child’s needs, but also harmonious and built to last. 

But don’t just think of us as simply matchmakers. We provide ongoing support and supervision to the Big, the Little, and the Little’s family. We offer training and advice to help ensure that the match is working for everyone involved. Our local agencies even receive their own ongoing training and consulting from the Big Brothers Big Sisters national office. It is this web of support that helps maximize the likelihood that a Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship will thrive.

The study found that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ matches consistently spend more time together, and continue as a match for longer periods, than those in other mentoring programs which Public/Private Ventures has studied.

“In mentoring programs without this infrastructure, we have found that relationships evaporate too soon for effects to be possible,” said Walker.